Saturday, June 28, 2008

Week 3 - Raquel

Please allow me a moment to gush.

Southside Presbyterian Church has fast become one of my favorite locales in Tucson. My appreciation for Southside goes beyond my love for the hogan style architecture which delineates its campus from other structures in the surrounding neighborhood of South Tucson. While I love the rust colored adobe walls which ensconce the inner core of the church, I might just love the heavy splash of southwestern details which mark the church’s interior even more than it’s smoothly curved walls. For example, figures that look as though they could have been conjured up in the mind of a being from a much earlier time period appear to dance in the perforations which mark the light fixtures throughout the church. Even as the painstaking attention to detail which characterizes Southside’s interior and exterior design allures my artsy side, I am most intrigued by the incredible outreach programs which mark the church’s daily calendar.

The first thing that grabbed my attention when I visited Southside for the first time two weeks ago was the sign with an intense portrait of a dying Christ with the statement “Executions Have Always Been Wrong” emblazoned upon it. Pretty hardcore. In my meetings with the members of Southside over the past couple of weeks I have become increasingly impressed by the reality that Southside Presbyterian is far from an ordinary, run of the mill Christian church but rather puts into action the words of Christ found in the New Testament biblical book of Matthew in chapter 25 and verses 35 and 36 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me...’

I feel as though my experience at Southside has made and will continue to make an indelible mark on my notions of Christianity and furthermore the Christian experience.

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